Wedding dress shopping is one of the most exciting wedding planning tasks for a bride. We like to think of it as a wonderful and unique journey where brides explore diverse options and finally find a magical dress that transforms them into the beautiful brides they always wanted to be.
However, the path to finding this one and the only perfect wedding dress is not simple. It is fraught with challenges and the options are endless. So, it is essential to plan for the task and avoid drowning in the endless variety of dresses presented to you.
Over the next chapters, we will tell you what to expect at each stage leading to wedding dress shopping. We will also tell you how to navigate potential issues so you can enjoy the shopping experience, just like you deserve to.
Let us begin!
Step 1: Factors to consider when shopping for your wedding dress
Are you unsure of how to begin planning for wedding dress shopping?
Don’t worry, for we know exactly what will help you set your shopping criteria. These are practical factors or constraints, that directly affect your dress decision. Start by considering these factors and you will be able to narrow down your search. So, here they are!
Venue and theme
Have you decided on a wedding theme yet? Your chosen theme will determine your venue choice and directly impact your wedding dress selection. We’ll tell you how.
Imagine you have your heart set on a beach wedding in summer. Would it be practical to wear a heavy satin gown with an elaborate train to this venue?
Aren’t you too excited with the idea of dressing up in a classic ball gown, with immaculate makeup and a hairstyle with every strand held in place, on your wedding day?
If you answered yes, it is likely that a formal wedding is not for you. Brides with an, easy-going personality cannot always relate to a formal wedding. This is because everything is bound by rules and expectations at formal weddings. A casual wedding theme at an exciting venue would perhaps appeal better. In this case, you have the flexibility of making and bending the rules. Not only is this more fun, it will be more memorable when planned properly.
Brides who have their heart set on an informal wedding do not usually want traditional gowns. If this doesn’t reflect the fun and bubbly element of your personality, there is no rule that requires you to wear it. Instead, there are plenty of dresses that are better suited for an informal wedding. This is what you should look at.
Destination wedding dress collections usually feature bold and at times, even daring wedding dress styles. These are good choices for an informal wedding. If not these, you may even find an attractive dress in an evening dress collection. So, look there instead of the traditional wedding dress aisles.
So, how do you go about shopping for your dress when your wedding is different from the rest? Here are some tips from our bridal consultants to help you with this.
1.Identify the venue first
The dress styles that are suitable for an informal backyard wedding will not be good for a wedding on the beach. So, the venue is an important factor to consider when planning your bridal look. Informal wedding venues include beaches and resorts, gardens, backyards and restaurants. Your wedding dress should be appropriate for the venue as well as comfortable for the weather. Always start your shopping only after you finalize the location of your wedding.
2.Do your research in advance
Just because you won’t pick a traditional wedding dress, you shouldn’t skip your dress research. Informal dresses come in different styles. From bridal pant suits to tea-length dresses and loose sheaths, you have a variety of options. Unless you know what to wear, dress shopping can drag on and leave you confused and overwhelmed. So, plan your look first. Have an idea of the dress styles that you want to try on. Then find a shop that caters to your needs.
3.Fix your budget
An informal wedding gown can also be expensive. Nonetheless, you should be able to find dresses in different price ranges. Calculate the maximum amount that you can spend on your dress. This will give you a reference point to base your search on. Also include the cost for alterations and accessories when calculating the price. These are additional expenses that you will incur when shopping for your wedding dress.
You may have to think out of the box and be open to looking at more than just bridal dresses to find a dress of your choice. Since your search is for something unusual, it may not be as easy as shopping for a regular wedding gown. So, be prepared to search in other departments to find what you want.
5.Don’t settle for what is available
Like I mentioned earlier, it isn’t always easy to find a dress that satisfies your preferences for an informal theme. Fortunately, you can always customize an available dress if it isn’t exactly your taste. Explore the possibility of having a dress dyed if everything but the color isn’t right. Or you can even have the dress tailored. This gives you the opportunity to plan your look to even the smallest detail. If you can find a talented seamstress, this is a practical and easy solution to your need.
6.Get alterations done
A dress doesn’t look right unless it drapes correctly and fits perfectly. So, you should alter your dress to your measurements once you purchase it. If the boutique where you shop doesn’t provide this service, look for a seamstress who has the experience to work with dress styles like yours. It can take anywhere between 3 weeks to 3 months to complete alterations, depending on the complexity of the dress. Make sure you do your shopping early so you have enough time for it and don’t incur rush charges.
7.Choose the right accessories
You can dress up or down with the right choice of accessories. Accessories can help you create the look you want. So, choose jewelry, shoes and other accessories that enhance your look. You can mix and match dress styles and accessories to look modern, vintage, classic or boho-chic. Also, think out of the box and try on accessories like birdcage veils, flower crowns and vintage jewelry to find your unique style statement. Also experiment with color to add a pop of personality to your outfit.
Now, let us look at some of the dresses suitable for informal-style weddings. All these dresses belong to our dress collection at Best for Bride. Enjoy your tour!
Style: Tea length dress with lace appliques
With dainty lace appliques in the bodice this dress is very attractive. Lace appliques are also present in the lower half of the satin and net skirt. The waistline is defined by a pleated waistband, which clearly emphasizes the smallest part of the bride’s waist. The dress also has a gentle sweetheart bodice and layered skirt, which exude a youthful charm. The exquisite lace details in the dress make it just right for a garden wedding.
Style: Casual style with High-low hemline skirt
Very simple with delightful, uncluttered details. The simplicity of this dress adds to its appeal, giving it a casual vibe. The bodice features an empire waistline. It is embellished with intricate lace details till here. Soft layers of net flow from the waist to floor length. There are pretty lace appliques in the lower half of the skirt. The tonal strapless bodice features spaghetti straps that support and act as an interesting detail in this area. The high-low hemline makes this dress just right for an informal wedding style.
Style: Fun and flirty A-line dress with hi-low hemline
This dress is bound to take years off age off the bride who wears it. With a lace-bordered hi-low hemline, the dress is casual but fun. Soft scintillating straps support the lace-embellished sweetheart bodice. A crystal-studded waistband defines the natural waistline. This little detail adds a touch of pizzazz to the beautiful dress in white. Exquisite details like the hemline, waistband and pretty lace appliques will ensure the bride in it stands out from the rest of the crowd.
Style:Colored wedding dress with simple details
Here is another dress with all the essential elements for a casual wedding. The ruched bodice and pleated skirt have no fussy embellishments, but is very charming. The simple floral detail on the slim waistband complements the simplicity of the dress. This gown is easy to manage in the outdoors, and the pale pink color creates a vintage effect.
Style: Floor-length gown with illusion back details
This is a stunning beauty from the Mori Lee bridal collection. The 6836 dress is of floor-length, where the details are concentrated in the embellished bodice. With a V-neckline and beaded satin belt, the dress has bridal charm. However, it doesn’t overwhelm with details. The gathered A-line skirt is universally flattering, which makes it suitable for brides of most body types. It also features an amazing illusion back. This dress would be beautiful for a non-traditional wedding in the warmer months.
Style:Spaghetti straps on sheath style wedding dress
If your dream dress is one that drapes closely and shows off your natural curves effectively, here is a dress that satisfies your taste. The 6815 Mori Lee dress has an asymmetrically draped bodice in lush crepe. The criss-cross detail in the sweetheart bodice is complimented by thin spaghetti straps. The sheath silhouette courses to full length, gently defining the natural curves and creating a sexy effect. The dress is perfect for a destination wedding. It can be chosen for both indoor and outdoor venues.
Style: Pink beauty for the bride who loves color
Let your love for color reflect in your wedding dress choice. This Sans Pareil gown in soft pink is a picture of magnificence, and yet entirely non-traditional. From the fit-and-flare silhouette to the color, there are many unusual elements in this beautiful dress. The scintillating threads of crystal along the length of the gown create a spectacular effect. Equally bewitching is the low-cut open back detail and the deep-dip illusion V-neckline. This is a bold choice for a bride, but one that will stay in your guests memories for long.
Style:Sexy illusion neckline on non-traditional dress silhouette
You will be remembered as a glamorous bride, when you choose this amazing Sophia Tolli gown as your bridal dress. The plunging illusion V-neckline has embellishments that add an air of intrigue. The ruched bodice extends into shoulder straps and is gathered at the natural waistline. The skirt has wispy layers that flutter in the breeze, so it resembles drifting clouds. The artistic touch of crystal details in the neckline and decolletage are what makes this dress unique. It is a dress that is just right for a beach wedding.
Style: Black and white wedding dress
Be a bride with a difference when you add a touch of black to your wedding day outfit. This dress from the Jasmine designer bridal collection has a trumpet silhouette. From the strapless neckline, the dress follows the natural curves all the way up to the thighs. From here, it opens out into a layered misty skirt. The entire bodice has a ruched criss-cross effect for textural finesse. However, the signature element has to be the black lace appliques that adorn the length of the bodice along the sides. It extends from the bust all the way to the dropped waist, and has a pronounced effect. Classic and sophisticated, yet unusual, this is a dress for the bride who wants to stand out from the rest.
Now you’ve seen our favorite informal bridal dress picks from our wedding dress collection. One of the other places you should look at, is our bridesmaids collection. There are some real beauties in there that will easily pass off as wedding dresses.
One of our customers, Julie Santos is an example of how bridesmaids dresses can work as a wedding dress. Her pick was a bridesmaid dress from our Jasmine collection. Julie, who was married on the beach, says this was the perfect dress for her big day, and many of her guests couldn’t even believe that the dress she wore wasn’t from a wedding dress collection. Pictures of Julie on her wedding day are available here.
So, you now know that there are plenty of options in informal wedding dresses. Plus, designers are now on a spree to bring out more and more unexpected dress styles that fit into the wedding dress category.
To see all the dresses featured in this post up-close and also search for more options, check out our bridal dress gallery. And don’t forget to tell us which of these dresses you would choose to wear to your celebration. Or do you have another dress in mind? Do share your comments and ideas in our comments section below.
Your big day has finally arrived, you’ve been planning for your wedding for months now and everything is in place, your guests are on their way and all you need to do is slip into your dream wedding dress that everyone is going to be wowed by!
But… Why is there always a but? What if the unthinkable happens on your and your partner’s special day and you end up spilling something on your dress and staining it? It’s a well-known fact that whenever we wear something white, stains gravitate towards us and there is no exception, not even on your wedding day!
You could be popping on one last coat of mascara before you head to your venue when, whoops! You drop the brush and you have a black streak all down the front of your dress. Maybe it’s raining (which is lucky on your wedding day, by the way) and you have a long train that inevitably ends up covered in mud by the end of your photo shoot. Or, maybe your emotional aunt is giving you a hug at your reception and accidentally spills red wine all down the back of your dress… It doesn’t bear thinking about!
It is important to remember that accidents happen, no matter how well you prepare and if you do end up with a stain on your dress, no matter how small, you mustn’t let it upset you and spoil your special day. None of your guests or your partner would want to see you freak out about something, that in the grand scheme of things is quite trivial.
The best piece of advice we can offer when it comes to stains on your wedding dress is to prepare for the worst, remember there is always a way to resolve a situation and most importantly, stay calm!
Of course, one of the easiest ways to avoid spilling anything down your beautiful white wedding dress is to put in place a few prevention methods. We recommend the following:
When getting ready be sure to do your hair and apply all makeup BEFORE putting on your dress. If you need to lift your dress over your head when putting it on, a silk cloth over your face will prevent any of your makeup rubbing off.
Don’t eat or drink anything whilst wearing your wedding dress
By following both these stain prevention methods you will reduce your chances of spilling anything down your dress but not eating or drinking on your wedding will not make it much fun… If you decide to ignore this tip (which we strongly recommend you do, if you want to enjoy your wedding day), we suggest putting together a small emergency stain removal kit to deal with any little mishaps as they happen.
Your emergency stain removal kit should include the following:
Stain remover wipes
White cotton cloths
If you get this dress lifesaver kit ready in advance and give it to your maid of honor to look after on your wedding day, you can be sure you are ready for any stains that come your way.
The next question is, what do I use from my emergency stain remover kit for different types of stains on my dress? As with any clothing, different stains need different treatment and below we have outlined a selection of the most common stains you are likely to end up with on your wedding dress.
Makeup – If during a quick makeup touchup during your wedding day you end up with a drop of foundation or lipstick on your dress, grab a stain remover wipe asap and the stain will be gone before you know it. Nobody will ever know!
Ink-based stains – You’re at your wedding venue, signing the marriage license, when the pen leaks all over your dress! For this, you will need the rubbing alcohol and a couple of white cotton cloths from your emergency stain remover kit. Use one cloth to blot the stain dry and then apply the rubbing alcohol to the other cloth to lightly dab the stain.
Water-based stains – We have already mentioned red wine once but if you do end up with it on your dress, use one cotton cloth to absorb as much of the stain as possible and then soak another cloth (or a cotton bud if it’s only a spot) in warm water before dabbing the area until the stain begins to fade. Remember, red wine is notoriously difficult for getting out so if you can’t remove the entire the stain there and then, pop a bit of white chalk over it to hide the mark for the remainder of the day.
Oil-based stains – Whether it’s a drop of salad dressing or a piece of oily food that ends up in your lap during your wedding breakfast, be sure to sprinkle it with baby powder quickly to soak up the oil. If required a drop of rubbing alcohol on a cotton bud should remove any remaining residue.
Chewing gum – This one is a little more unlikely but if somehow you do end up with gum stuck to your dress, ask someone at your venue to get you some ice cubes and hold it to the gum until it hardens, making it easy to scrape off.
Hopefully, with your emergency stain remover kit to hand and these nuggets of knowledge, you are ready to tackle any disaster stains your wedding dress may encounter.
If you have had to use your trusty white chalk as a last resort cover up option on your big day, you can try any of these stain buster methods at home again to see if they remove it a second-time round.
It is always advised to have your wedding dress professionally cleaned. However, if you are looking to clean it yourself at home, you could try spot cleaning the out layer only or soaking the individual layers in a bath of warm water and detergent for a couple of hours before hanging them out to try.
Depending on your wedding dress material, you might be able to clean it at home but we would always recommend having it professionally cleaned to avoid any irreversible damage. Also, it’s a lot less stressful if you leave it to the professionals!
This is where cleaning facilities and professionals like Love Your Dress come in and take the stress out of removing stains from your wedding dress. It’s important to make sure your beloved dress will be cleaned by a team of experts using modern technologies. That’s the definitive way to get it looking as good as new following your wedding day, helping any unwanted stains vanish and make them a thing of the past.😉
One of the best things about wedding fashion is that it is constantly evolving. Although the traditional layered wedding gown is still popular, bridal dress designers also impress us with unusual and unexpected trends for brides who want something different for their wedding day. The latest trends in wedding dresses are so unusually interesting that I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them would continue to be favorites season after season. Take the 3-D floral trend for instance. It made its appearance several years ago, and still continues to be a big hit. This charming design feature has been played with in different ways, extended to other motifs of nature and even tried out in colors and bigger proportions. And one thing is clear, the trend is here to stay.
There are many more design features that have been bookmarked by many brides and wedding fashion enthusiasts, long before they set their wedding dates. Let us explore this list of the unique and interesting wedding dress styles that are anything but traditional, but impressive enough to stay.
Bridal Pant Suits
With same-sex weddings growing common these days, bridal pant suits which rose to fame in 2014 continue to be favored by many couples. It is not only for lesbian brides though. There are many brides who choose them for their practicality and style factor. In fact, the chances are high for any bride who isn’t used to wearing dresses to choose a pant suit over a poufy wedding dress. And the modern designs are stylish and dressy enough for the bride to look special on her big day. One of the most popular choices is divided skirts, where the pant suit looks super-chic and very bridal. Well-tailored suits with elegant embellishments are equally attractive. We have also noticed the unusual pairing of the pant suit with the very feminine veil as the accessory of choice for a “tradition meets modern” bridal statement.
Two-in-one wedding dresses
We have lost track of the number of times we have been asked for dresses that allow a bride to easily transform from a traditional bride at the wedding ceremony to a stylish diva for the wedding reception. Two-in-one wedding dresses are our go-to solution in such situations. Dubbed the two-fer, these dresses feature an overlay skirt over a figure-fitting silhouette like the mermaid. The overlay skirt is often elaborate and richly layered, so it has the appearance of a rich ball gown. This is usually perfect for a traditional wedding ceremony and a princess-look for the bride. Post the wedding ceremony, all the bride has to do is take off the overlay skirt, and she has a new look for the reception. Much easier than changing into a whole new gown, don’t you think? Also, it is more economical than spending double on two gowns.
Tiered wedding skirts
Tiered wedding skirts are the happy balance between ball gowns and modern wedding dress styles. They have the drama of the ball gown, but are more sophisticated and look contemporary. Tiers can be seen mostly on A-line and fit and flare silhouettes like the mermaid or trumpet. They are beautiful in every fabric, although they are common in lace, satin and tulle. Tiered skirts are often paired with sweetheart and strapless necklines, that add to the dramatic effect. They may also be embellished with scalloped details at the edges or ruffles. Designers have also tried unusual embellishments like feathers and fringes in tiered wedding skirts. However, these choices are better suited for bold brides than conventional brides.
Muted shades of pink
Ever since blush became a widely sought-after bridesmaid dress color, muted shades of pink have stolen many a bride’s heart. Blush, in particular, is a favorite as it has a delicate, feminine charm. The color is soft so many brides can safely choose it in their bridal dresses and not deviate too far from traditional white. Another charming factor about this color is that it looks good on most complexions. It is also the perfect base color for lace details like floral icons and others to pop up against. Blush renders itself beautifully to both modern and vintage wedding dress designs. Whether it is in a ruffled wedding dress skirt or a modern minimalist silhouette, this dainty color as well as other subtle shades of pink are big hits in the bridal world. We do not see them disappearing from the scene anytime soon.
Definitely a choice for the bold and daring bride, plunging necklines are no longer the fashion statements of celebrities on the red carpet. Plunging V-necklines, daringly low scoops and deep keyhole designs are all hot trends on the bridal fashion scene. The widespread interest in the reinvention of these styles and number of collections featuring this detail simply tell us that more and more women are choosing to sport this bold style feature in their wedding dresses. To avert any potential disaster, all that is necessary is to add a sheer modesty piece to the neckline. Nevertheless, after the daringly low back details that were once a hit on the bridal scene, plunging necklines are a hot and happening thing. Plunging necklines are often featured with straps or sleeveless dresses that add a finishing touch to the glamorous detail.
Interesting elements like high-low wedding dress hemlines instantly add a touch of drama to the bridal look. This is a feature that has not just gained favor in the general fashion scene, but has influenced wedding fashion as well. High-low hemlines may be used in short or long gowns. It can also be added as an additional feature that appears over the regular wedding skirt. Asymmetrical hemlines usually involve more fabric to create the flowy effect, and are commonly paired with A-line dress styles, sheaths or fit and flare silhouettes for maximum impact. This is a great choice for casual-theme weddings where the bride wants a dress that isn’t too formal, but looks bridal enough all the same.
A sexy dress feature that allows the bride to show off her well-toned shoulders and collar bones, the off-the-shoulder neckline looks beautiful on wedding gowns. The exposed shoulders and neckline balance out poufy wedding dress skirts. Off-the-shoulder necklines are very feminine, and may be paired with any dress silhouette. When paired with ball gown skirts and A-line dresses, it has a princess look, whereas it looks stylish and modern when paired with sheaths and fit and flare silhouettes. The neckline may either feature short sleeves or be combined with long full-sleeves for a vintage look. This neckline feature has been added to both lace gowns as well as satin and silk wedding dresses. It may also be paired with a draped bodice or an embellished one in different designs.
Illusion details on sleeves
Illusion necklines were and continue to be a bridal favorite. Although the sleeve length has varied from full-sleeves to strapless styles and those in between, there are always brides who want to look modest and sport wedding dresses with sleeves that cover their arms. Then, there are also those brides who want sleeves because their arms are too thick or too skinny to show-off. Illusion sleeve details are a happy middle ground between fully covered and very modest styles and the strapless style that reveals arms all the way from the shoulders to the fingers. Illusion sleeves are usually executed in lace, and have a delicate feminine appeal. This is a feature that is great for formal wedding styles and looks good on both slender and curvy brides. The details may range from intricate lace structures to widely dispersed and scattered details. It can also have embellishments or be simple.
Less is more for the modern minimalist bride. Non-fussy, uncluttered wedding gowns do not have to be simple and boring. Instead they can be stunning and splendid, despite the simplicity. Minimalist wedding dresses allow brides to draw focus to other aspects of their wedding trousseau, like their jewelry and accessories. Sleek and simple modern silhouettes usually focus on enhancing the natural beauty of the bride by drawing attention to her best assets in an obvious way. The most popular silhouettes are fit and flare and column, that either snugly fit the body curves or create the illusion of more curves than the lady possesses. Minimalist dresses may also feature selected embellishments that are vivid and stylish. This is a great pick for the bride who wants her personality to shine through the attire she sports on this important day in her life.
More brides today are determined to get in shape and look their best on their wedding days. And when they have great bodies to show off, it is only imperative that they draw attention to the smallest and most attractive of their assets, like a slim waistline. Wedding dresses with emphasized waistlines are just as popular as accessories like bows, sashes and waistbands that define the waistline clearly. This feature is common on not only poufy wedding dresses, but the demarcation of the waistline is even incorporated into fit and flare dresses where there usually is no clear waistline. One of the most interesting factors about defining the waistline specifically is that it gives the dress a youthful appearance. So, although dropped waistlines and empire styles are still sough after by many brides, dresses which highlight slender waists and even draw attention to it are favored by brides who are in good shape in time for their wedding.
Fantastic back details
This is one trend that we simply cannot get enough of. Every year, wedding designers outdo themselves by presenting us with wedding dresses featuring fantastic back details. The mysterious charm of an ornate back detail is unbeatable, and it is a must-have for every bride on her special day. From fabulous illusion detailing to tasteful lace cut-outs, embellished details, low-cut backs and keyhole designs, details in the back easily impress. It is also an interesting way of showing of your sexy side without worrying about a wardrobe disaster. To highlight back details, the bride must ideally choose a hairstyle that doesn’t cover up the essential details. It may also be hidden when you wear a veil. So, if you choose a dress with a fantastic back, make sure to take off the veil after the ceremony and give it the attention it deserves. Fantastic back details are also stand-out features in bridal and couple portraits. So make sure your photographer pays attention to this detail, if your dress features it.
Over the recent years, many trends have appeared and disappeared. While going with the trend is fun, remember that your wedding dress will be the focal point in your wedding album in years to come. It may perhaps even be passed down generations, and you always want to look classic and timeless in them. We believe that the trends we listed here today, are those that will help you look stylish. In short, these are the trends that are bound to be repeated time and again, and never go out of fashion.
So, tell us which of these dress features do you like the most? Have you chosen any of them in your wedding dress?
And for more wedding dresses and a fantastic selection to make your pick from, check out this link to our wedding dress collections at Best for Bride. From traditional and vintage to modern and contemporary dresses, we have all the dresses you can dream of. Book your appointment with us today, and visit any of our locations in Canada to make your wedding dress dreams come true. And if you are a bride from outside Canada, try our online shopping option for a reliable experience.